Material Girls

Last updated
Material Girls
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Martha Coolidge
Produced by
  • Milton Kim
  • Tim Wesley
  • Mark Morgan
  • Guy Oseary
  • Hilary Duff
  • Susan Duff
  • Eve LaDue
  • David Faigenblum
Written by
Music by Jennie Muskett
Cinematography Johnny E. Jensen
Edited bySteven Cohen
  • Maverick Films
  • Rafter H Entertainment
  • Patriot Pictures
  • Milton Kim Productions
  • Concept Entertainment
Distributed by MGM Distribution Co.
Release date
  • August 18, 2006 (2006-08-18)(United States)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$15 million
Box office$16.9 million [1]

Material Girls is a 2006 American teen comedy film directed by Martha Coolidge, loosely based on Jane Austen's 1811 novel Sense and Sensibility , updating the setting to modern Los Angeles. The film stars Hilary and Haylie Duff, Anjelica Huston, Lukas Haas, Maria Conchita Alonzo, and Brent Spiner. It is co-produced by Patriot Pictures and Maverick Films.



Sisters Tanzania "Tanzie" and Ava are wealthy, Hollywood socialites who enjoy shopping and dating, paying little attention to their late father's (Victor Marchetta) company, Marchetta Cosmetics, run by co-founder and family friend Tommy Katzenbach. Tanzie is going to college soon and Ava is planning to announce her engagement with fiancée Mic.

A major media scandal breaks, involving disfigurement from Marchetta night cream. The girls and their father's reputation is destroyed, and Ava and Tanzie retreat to their mansion. While preparing a home spa treatment, Tanzie accidentally spills nail polish remover. Ava's light cigarette then is dropped during an argument, and it starts a fire.

Ava saves their father's watch and her engagement party dress while Tanzie saves their TiVo box with recordings of her father talking about his cosmetics. Going to a hotel, they learn all their credit cards have been blocked, leaving them completely broke. They move in with their maid and close family friend Inez in her small apartment. They foolishly give their car keys to two men they naively think are valets.

The next morning, Ava and Tanzie, without the car, take a bus and then walk the rest of the way to Ava's engagement party. They are refused entry, their friend Etienne ignores them, they realize they were only liked for their money. Ava's fiancé Mic's agent Sol dumps her as she is now a "liability".

Tommy plans to persuade the board of directors to sell Marchetta Cosmetics to arch-rival Fabiella for $60 million (or $30 million each). The girls have 30 days until the stockholders meeting, when the deal will be made official.

The deal would mean they could return to their extravagant lifestyles, but they are depressed over their father's legacy being destroyed. After Tanzie's love interest and the company's lab technician Rick helps them evade the press outside, Ava and Tanzie decide to become "private investigators" and approach free legal clinic lawyer Henry for help. He agrees, after initially refusing as they are not "underprivileged". Determined to restore their father's reputation, the sisters are determined to uncover the truth.

Watching the news, Tanzie recognises a woman who accused Marchetta of leaving her disfigured as also in an eczema documentary on KLAE. Tanzie goes to the KLAE offices dressed provocatively and flirts with the receptionist, who allows her access to the file room. She manages to obtain the woman's address, before being arrested and put in jail for fraud and trespassing. Ava pawns her dad's Rolex (her most treasured possession) to pay Tanzie's bail money after Henry helps her realize that family is more important than material things.

The woman, Margo Thorness, says that Marchetta paid for her cosmetic surgery for the supposed damage caused by Marchetta Everdew night cream. But Ava and Tanzie learn from her neighbor that she lied, as she was born with a skin disease. The girls meet with the board of directors and successfully clear the Marchetta name, revealing that Tommy (their father's best friend and trustee of the company) was behind the scandal, as he had helped fabricate testimonials, and used money taken from the sisters' personal bank accounts. Tommy is promptly fired by Ava.

Six months later, the girls are running the company, with Ava as the new CEO and Tanzie studying while working as a chemist. Ava is now in a relationship with Henry, and Tanzie is now with Rick.



The film began production on April 18, 2005, in Los Angeles, California. For the film's soundtrack, Hilary Duff recorded two new songs: "Happy" (which was then an early version of "Play with Fire", her single released in August 2006) and a cover version of the Madonna song "Material Girl", performed with Haylie Duff, which was the inspiration for the film's story and is featured at the beginning of the film.



On March 31, 2006, the entertainment site reported that Lukas Haas had said he did not expect the film to be released. These statements were confirmed on April 5, in an article in The Ryersonian. Haas expressed his unhappiness with the film, and said they had been trying to sell the film for a long time with little success. [2] On April 6, the website Box Office Mojo reported that MGM had picked up the rights to Material Girls and would be releasing it on August 25 (this was later changed to August 18). On May 2, the official website for Martha Coolidge reported that it would be released on around 2,000 screens. [3]

Material Girls was released in 1,500 theaters in the U.S. and debuted at #9 on the weekend box office chart, grossing only US$4.62 million in its first three days of release. [4] The DVD for Material Girls was released on December 12, 2006 in the U.S by 20th Century Fox under the MGM Home Entertainment label. It is a double-sided DVD with special features including the music video for Hilary Duff's single "Play with Fire". In the UK the film was released on March 2, 2007 to coincide with the release of Duff's single "With Love", her album Dignity , and the UK release of her scent With Love... Hilary Duff. It was distributed by Twentieth Century Fox. The film has garnered a total of $16,847,695 worldwide. [5]

Critical response

The film received extremely negative reviews. Rotten Tomatoes ranked Material Girls 46th in the 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s, with a rating of 4% based on reviews from 54 critics and an average rating of 3.00/10. The consensus reads, "Plagued by paper-thin characterizations and a hackneyed script, Material Girls fails to live up to even the minimum standards of its genre." [6] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 17 out of 100 based on reviews from 12 critics, indicating "overwhelming dislike". [7] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "B-" on scale of A+ to F. [8] Hilary and Haylie Duff's performances were panned by critics and earned both of them Razzie Award nominations for Worst Actress and Worst Screen Couple. [9]

Amelie Gillette of The A.V. Club wrote in her review: "Their portrayal isn't some light send-up of materialism. It's a light endorsement of it." [10]

Manohla Dargis of The New York Times wrote in her review: "The real-life sisters Hilary and Haylie Duff star in this incompetent spin on the poor-little-rich-girl story. Not yet legal and apparently never educated, the sisters live with a fleet of happy helpers, [...] aren’t just spoiled rotten; they’re nitwits." [11]

Related Research Articles

<i>Lizzie McGuire</i> American comedy series from 2001–2004

Lizzie McGuire is an American comedy television series created by Terri Minsky which premiered on Disney Channel on January 12, 2001. The series stars Hilary Duff as the title character, who navigates the personal and social issues of her teenage years; and an animated version of the character, who performs soliloquies to express Lizzie's inner thoughts and emotions. The series also stars Lalaine, Adam Lamberg, Jake Thomas, Hallie Todd and Robert Carradine. The final episode aired on February 14, 2004, after a total of 65 episodes were produced. A theatrical movie based on the series was released on May 2, 2003.

Haylie Duff American actress, singer-songwriter

Haylie Katherine Duff is an American actress, singer, songwriter, television host, writer, and fashion designer. She is best known for her roles as Sandy Jameson in the television series 7th Heaven, Amy Sanders in Lizzie McGuire, Summer Wheatley in Napoleon Dynamite, and Annie Nelson in the made-for-television films Love Takes Wing along with its sequel Love Finds a Home. She is the older sister of American singer and actress Hilary Duff.

<i>The Lizzie McGuire Movie</i>

The Lizzie McGuire Movie is a 2003 American teen comedy film directed by Jim Fall. The film serves as the finale of the Disney Channel television series of the same name, and was the first theatrical film based on a Disney Channel series. The film stars Hilary Duff, Adam Lamberg, Robert Carradine, Hallie Todd and Jake Thomas, and tells the story of Lizzie's graduation trip to Rome. It was released on May 2, 2003, by Buena Vista Pictures, peaking at number two at the domestic box office behind X2. The events of the film take place after the second and final season of Lizzie McGuire.

<i>Agent Cody Banks</i> 2003 American action comedy film directed by Harald Zwart

Agent Cody Banks is a 2003 American spy comedy film directed by Harald Zwart. It follows the adventures of the 15-year-old title character, played by Frankie Muniz, who has to finish his chores, avoid getting grounded, and save the world by going undercover for the CIA as a James Bond–type superspy. Hilary Duff, Angie Harmon, Keith David, Cynthia Stevenson, Daniel Roebuck, Darrell Hammond, Ian McShane, and Arnold Vosloo co-star. The film was filmed in British Columbia and was released in the United States on March 14, 2003.

<i>A Cinderella Story</i> 2004 American teen romantic comedy film

A Cinderella Story is a 2004 American teen romantic comedy film directed by Mark Rosman, written by Leigh Dunlap and stars Hilary Duff, Chad Michael Murray, Jennifer Coolidge and Regina King. A modernization of the classic Cinderella folklore, the film's plot revolves around two Internet pen pals who plan to meet in person at their high school's Halloween dance.

<i>Hilary Duff</i> (album) 2004 studio album by Hilary Duff

Hilary Duff is the self-titled third studio album by American singer Hilary Duff. It was released on September 28, 2004, by Hollywood Records. Duff cited the album as being more mature than her previous albums, stating "Basically, I'm not Lizzie McGuire anymore". The seventeen-track album saw Duff collaborating with the same producers she did on Metamorphosis, saying that it was more comfortable for her that way. Recording sessions for the album took place during May to August 2004, partially between filming of Raise Your Voice (2004) and The Perfect Man (2005), both in which Duff had starring roles.

<i>Van Wilder</i> 2002 comedy film directed by Walt Becker

National Lampoon's Van Wilder is a 2002 American comedy film directed by Walt Becker and written by Brent Goldberg and David T. Wagner, based on the life of Bert Kreischer.

<i>Raise Your Voice</i> 2004 film by Sean McNamara

Raise Your Voice is a 2004 American teen musical drama film directed by Sean McNamara and starring Hilary Duff. Canadian rock band Three Days Grace made a cameo appearance in the film, performing the songs "Are You Ready" and "Home".

<i>The War at Home</i> (1996 film) 1996 film by Emilio Estevez

The War at Home is a 1996 Vietnam War drama film directed by, starring, and co-produced by Emilio Estevez. The film also stars Kathy Bates and Martin Sheen. Writer James Duff adapted his 1984 play Home Front.

Oliver James is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and actor.

Jennifer Coolidge American actress and comedian

Jennifer Audrey Coolidge is an American actress, comedian, and activist. She is best known for her roles as Jeanine Stifler in the American Pie film series (1999–2012), as Paulette Bonafonté Parcelle in the Legally Blonde film series (2001–2003), and as Fiona in the romantic comedy film A Cinderella Story (2004). Coolidge is also a regular actor in Christopher Guest's mockumentary films, such as Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003), For Your Consideration (2006), and Mascots (2016).

<i>The Perfect Man</i> (2005 film)

The Perfect Man is a 2005 American romantic comedy film directed by Mark Rosman and written by Gina Wendkos. It stars Hilary Duff, Heather Locklear, Ben Feldman and Chris Noth. Shooting for the film began in May 2004.

<i>Valley Girl</i> (1983 film) 1983 film by Martha Coolidge

Valley Girl is a 1983 American teen romantic comedy film directed by Martha Coolidge and starring Nicolas Cage, Deborah Foreman, Michelle Meyrink, Elizabeth Daily, Cameron Dye and Michael Bowen.

<i>The Dead Girl</i> 2006 film by Karen Moncrieff

The Dead Girl is a 2006 American drama thriller film written and directed by Karen Moncrieff, starring Brittany Murphy, Toni Collette, Rose Byrne and Marcia Gay Harden. The film was nominated for several 2007 Independent Spirit Awards including Best Feature and Best Director. It is the story of a young woman's death and the people linked to her murder. It also features Mary Beth Hurt, Kerry Washington, James Franco, Giovanni Ribisi, Josh Brolin, Mary Steenburgen and Piper Laurie. The film was premiered at the AFI Film Festival, and was given a limited US theatrical release on 29 December 2006. It was generally well received. It only ran for two weeks in US first-run theaters, and earned nearly all its revenue from overseas release.

Hilary Duff American actress and singer

Hilary Erhard Duff is an American actress, businesswoman, singer-songwriter, producer, and writer. Duff began her acting career at a young age and quickly became labeled a teen idol as the title character of the television series Lizzie McGuire (2001–2004) and in the theatrical film based on the series, The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003). Thereafter, she appeared in numerous films, with leading roles in Agent Cody Banks (2003), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), A Cinderella Story (2004), and Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005). She later began appearing in independent films playing a wider range of roles, such as an oversexed popstar in War, Inc. (2008), a suicidal and rebellious teenager in According to Greta (2009), and as the title character in the controversial The Haunting of Sharon Tate (2019). She has also executive produced several of the projects she starred in, such as According to Greta, Beauty and the Briefcase (2010) and The Haunting of Sharon Tate. Since 2015, she has starred as Kelsey Peters on TV Land's longest-running original comedy-drama series Younger, for which she has received nominations for People's Choice Awards in 2016 and 2017.

Abigail Breslin American actress

Abigail Kathleen Breslin is an American actress and singer. Born and raised in New York City, Breslin began acting in commercials when she was three years old and made her film debut in M. Night Shyamalan's science fiction horror film Signs (2002), at the age of five, for which she was nominated for a Young Artist Award. Following early roles in Raising Helen (2004) and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004), Breslin garnered critical acclaim for her performance as Olive Hoover in the road comedy-drama Little Miss Sunshine (2006), for which she earned nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Award, BAFTA, and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Young Performer.

Julia Kaufmann is a German voice actress. She has dubbed over a number of actresses, including Scarlett Johansson, Mischa Barton, and Elisha Cuthbert.

<i>Red Riding Hood</i> (2011 film) 2011 film by Catherine Hardwicke

Red Riding Hood is a 2011 American romance horror film directed by Catherine Hardwicke, and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, from a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson. The film is very loosely based on the folk tale Little Red Riding Hood collected by both Charles Perrault under the name Le Petit Chaperon Rouge and several decades later by the Brothers Grimm as Rotkäppchen. It stars Amanda Seyfried as the title role, with Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Virginia Madsen, Lukas Haas and Julie Christie in supporting roles.

The Rugrats film series is a series of animated comedy adventure films based on the popular Nickelodeon animated series, Rugrats, created by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó, and Paul Germain. The three films were released in 1998, 2000, and 2003. The first film received mixed reviews, the second received generally positive reviews, and the third negative reviews. The first two were commercial successes, while the third made less than its predecessors, collectively grossing nearly $300 million worldwide.

<i>Mothers Day</i> (2016 film)

Mother's Day is a 2016 American romantic comedy film directed by Garry Marshall and written by Marshall, Tom Hines, Lily Hollander, Anya Kochoff-Romano and Matt Walker. It features an ensemble cast, including; Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Shay Mitchell, Julia Roberts, Jason Sudeikis, Timothy Olyphant, Britt Robertson, Jack Whitehall, Héctor Elizondo, and Margo Martindale. Filming began on August 18, 2015, in Atlanta, Georgia. It was the final film of Marshall's career prior to his death in July 2016 as well as the final film appearance of his sister Penny before her death in December 2018.


  1. "Material Girls (2006)". Box Office Mojo . Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  2. Archived November 4, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  3. Archived 2006-05-17 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "Box Office Estimates Report for August 18-20, 2006". Box Office Prophets. 2006-08-20. Archived from the original on 2013-07-08. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
  5. Box Office Mojo. "Material Girls" . Retrieved 2007-12-02.
  6. "Material Girls Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  7. "Material Girls (2006): Reviews". 2010-07-17. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
  8. "Cinemascore". CinemaScore . Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
  9. Christy Lemire. "Material Girls: Critics' Reviews". MSN . United States: Microsoft. Archived from the original on January 9, 2008. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  10. Gillette, Amelie (August 23, 2006). "Material Girls". The A.V. Club . Chicago: G/O Media . Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  11. Dargis, Manohla (August 19, 2006). "In 'Material Girls,' Those Daffy Duff Sisters Play Rich, Daffy ... Sisters". The New York Times . New York City: The New York Times Company . Retrieved November 5, 2019.